New Government Data Show Greater Ethnic, Racial Difference in US

23 June, 2017

All races and ethnic groups in the U.S. increased in number last year.

However, Asian and Hispanic populations continued to be the fastest-growing, according to the Census Bureau's yearly population count.

The agency recently released the new information.

The census shows that the non-Hispanic white population grew the slowest.

FILE - Supporters of Ed Lee cheered his 2011 election as the first Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
FILE - Supporters of Ed Lee cheered his 2011 election as the first Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The report is called the National, State and County Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin.

The report says that as of July 1, 2016 the U.S. Hispanic population was 57.5 million, which is a two percent increase from last year. The Asian population grew three percent, which is an increase of 21.4 million. The Asian population is the fastest growing population in the U.S.

The Census report is from the State Data Center Program. The program works with data from all 50 states in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories. The information comes from networks of state agencies, universities, libraries, and regional and local governments.

The study also shows that non-Hispanic white people had more deaths than births. There was a decrease of 163,300 births by non-Hispanic white people. All other races and ethnic groups had more births than deaths last year.

Monica Gomez Isaac is the executive director of the Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University. She said the increase in the Hispanic and Asian populations may be a result of higher birth rates. She said the birth rates are "projected to grow."

As a result, she said the U.S. population is becoming more ethnically diverse. However, she said that 50 years ago, immigrant populations grew for different reasons.

She said after the U.S. ended the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, "a greater diversity of immigrants" were admitted into the U.S. The act created entry quotas, which limited the number of people from some countries who were allowed to enter the U.S.

The new census data show that the majority of Asian and Hispanic people live in states on the West Coast.

California is the largest state in that area. It has 15.3 million Hispanic people and 6.6 million Asian people. Those are the largest Hispanic and Asian populations in the U.S.

Texas saw an increase of 233,100 Hispanic people, which is the highest growth of that group in the country.

Every year, the Census Bureau estimates the number of people living in the U.S. and its territories. Every 10 years, the Census Bureau counts everyone living in the U.S. and its territories. The U.S. Constitution requires the count and it will take place again in 2020.

In order to count everyone in the U.S. and its territories, the Census Bureau mails surveys to every U.S. home. The surveys have many questions such as how many people live in that house and what their ages and ethnicities are.

Census surveys let people choose more than one race when filling out the survey. Some residents may be one race or a number of races. Hispanic origin can mean people of Hispanic, Spanish or Latino origin.

The Census Project is an activist group made up of people from business, government and nongovernmental organizations. It said the Census Bureau may not have asked for enough money in the 2018 budget. The group said the Census Bureau may have to cut back on field tests when it should be getting ready for the 2020 census.

On its website, the Census Project said that there is a greater chance for the 2020 census to count fewer people than there are. It added that the risk of undercounting is more likely to affect "communities of color and rural residents."

I'm Mario Ritter.

And I'm Olivia Liu.

Olivia Liu adapted this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.


Words in This Story

censusn. the count of the entire population of an area or a population

diversity –n. having people of many different races, ethnic groups and cultures

surveysn. a study with questions for a group of people to find out about an issue

originn. where people come from

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